Graham not giving up on an Origin recall
Cronulla Sharks co-captain Wade Graham concedes his 2018 Origin chances aren't looking great, but the World Cup-winning back-rower plans to remind selectors what he has to offer starting with Sunday's clash with the Wests Tigers.
Suffering two hamstring injuries has resulted in Graham being ruled out of crucial matches, which has opened the door for the likes of Jack de Belin, Jake Trbojevic and Tariq Sims to move above him on coach Brad Fittler's pecking order.
"Freddy will be looking to keep that same team together I'd imagine after the way they played so well in game one," Graham said.
"Unfortunately it wasn't to be for game one, it's been a pretty rough start to the year for me injury-wise and consistency-wise and it's just a battle for me to stay out there for a whole 80-minute game.
"It's something that's been frustrating because it's been one of the most inconsistent periods in my career I've had, playing a total of a game maybe two games in eight or nine weeks, in and out of the team from injury.
"As long as you're playing good footy then you're always going to be in the conversations and I have no doubt in my ability to play at that level or making them representative teams."
In the round 13 loss to the Rabbitohs, Graham was taken off mid-way the first half for a HIA after getting a knee to head from Sam Burgess, which left him on the sideline for the remainder of the game.
It was another frustrating setback for Graham but the second-rower has since been cleared to face the Wests Tigers at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday.
"I was fine [after the concussion]. To be honest, I was close to being able to come back on after the knock but it was just that it was a fair wack to the head, so with these things it's better to be cautious," Graham said.
"Our staff are great down here and they look after us and it just wasn't to be that night. Another one of those little frustrating things that has popped up in the start of my year."
The Sharks will have a point to prove after their 22-14 loss to an understrength Rabbitohs side.
Graham says their home clash against the Tigers will be another tough challenge against a team that is continuously improving.
"We played the Tigers in a trial match earlier in the year, they were missing a few players but we could tell then that they were really shaping up as a good team," Graham said.
"They started the year awesome, they fell away a little bit but that's just them learning as a squad and improving as a squad.
"They hold the ball really well, they don't give the oppositions many opportunities that the opposition don't earn.
"We know we need to play a good game on Sunday here at home if we want to win."